Are You Getting All of Your Zzz’s?

Having trouble sleeping? Harvard Medical School experts say that short bouts of sleeplessness are nothing to fret over. However, chronic sleeplessness can contribute to a host of problems, such as high blood pressure, weight gain, and a less-effective immune system. Additionally, working while sleepy makes you 70% more likely to get hurt on the job. At-work sleepiness can also cause less-effective communication and poorer performance, including increased errors.

Applying the following tips can help you sleep more soundly. If you make changes and still find yourself sleepy at work, visit your primary care physician for further investigation.

  • One of the most important tips for good sleep in today’s technology-focused world is to remove anything that glows from your bedroom. Cell phones, cable boxes, and digital clocks can delay or prevent your sleep. Cover displays that you cannot power down.
  • Who doesn’t love an afternoon nap? If you nap, do so early in the day and for less than twenty minutes. Consider taking a walk instead of a nap. You’ll find yourself reenergized.
  • Evaluate your pillow. It should support your natural neck curve. A large or fluffy pillow may not be the best choice. Consider replacing older pillows, especially if you use polyester pillows.
  • In winter, keep the heat turned down. In summer, consider a fan. Most people sleep best at temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees.
  • Avoid caffeine after noon.
  • Try to complete energetic workouts at least three to four hours before bed. However, yoga, tai chi, or gentle stretching can help you unwind before you hit the hay.

According to the National Institutes for Health, sleep apnea can affect up to 7% of the population. Consider a sleep study if you snore or often feel fatigued after seven or so hours of sleep.